Marcus Michels of Hattiesburg has been awarded a $ 4,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the nearly $1.4 million in grants the Commission awarded in Fiscal Year 2020 and will be used to purchase painting materials. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Mississippi boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to artistic talent in our state,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “MAC is proud to support the artists selected to receive grant awards from MAC this year. These individuals should be commended for their commitment to artistic excellence as well as their ability to communicate complex thoughts and emotions through the arts.”

Marcus Michels received an MFA for painting from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2004. His work has been exhibited in several solo exhibitions and two person exhibits, as well as numerous international juried, national juried and invitational exhibitions. His work has also been published in international juried annuals of contemporary painting. Michels resides in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and is an Associate Professor of Art at The University of Southern Mississippi.

In speaking of his work Michels’ states, "I construct original compositions based on direct observation of forms in nature. Specially, my work involves the figure in an interior/studio environment. My paintings are a response to the formal relationships between the elements of color, light and shape. The gesture of the figure adds a sense of fluidity and ties together the formal elements of the composition in a way that engages our own sense of movement and physicality.”

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) is a state agency serving more than two million people through grants and special initiatives that enhance communities, assist artists and arts organizations, promote arts education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. MAC is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation for Mississippi and other private sources. For more information, visit

For information about the Mississippi Arts Commission, please contact Anna Ehrgott, Communications Director, 601-359-6546 or

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